Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Art From The Underground: Watching You 24/7...

"Anna Barriball's minimal typographic artwork 'About 60 Miles Of Beautiful Views.' is the latest commission by Art on the Underground to go on display on the Tube network.

Barriball will display a collection of evocative phrases taken from the back of found photographs in a photo album. Printed in New Johnston font, the texts will be displayed on posters in advertising spaces across the network.

Customers traveling on the Underground will encounter unexpected phrases like ''About 60 miles of beautiful views.' or 'On way to birthday party.' or 'Looking back the way we had come.'. These cryptic texts are loaded with personal memory, yet connect with individual reasons for travel and the millions of private thoughts customers carry with them on their journeys. The phrases are distinctly personal and strangely visual, creating small windows into imagined vistas or glimpses into unidentified personal worlds, open to interpretation in their new context.

Anna Barriball's work often steps between the parallel languages of drawing and sculpture. Her practice produces objects that combine a minimalistic rigour and the attempt to make sense of the world of objects by empirical study. In the context of the Tube this approach will inject moments of quiet contemplation into a busy, working landscape.

Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground, says: "Anna's project is exciting because it offers customers the chance to encounter artworks across the entire Tube network. We hope that these encounters result in pleasantly unexpected asides to daily journeys". -Anna Barriball("About 60 Miles Of Beautiful Views," Art On The Underground, Transport for London, 2008).


"Ah yes, TFL says we should relish the chance to be constantly reminded that we are under total surveillance at all times. It is clear, however, that many commuters have found the new signs to be neither "pleasant" nor "unexpected".

Britain is acknowledged as the world leader of Orwellian surveillance. An estimated 4.2 million closed-circuit TV cameras observe people going about their everyday business, from getting on a bus to lining up at the bank to driving around London. It's widely estimated that the average Briton is scrutinized by 300 cameras a day and that there is one camera for every 14 people in the country."

-Steve Watson ("New Big Brother London Underground Signs Stir Controversy", Infowars.net, 6.24.08).


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